Commentary: Thinking of desirables futures, imagining better cities

Juanjo Galan Vivas, D. J. Kotze

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


Humans´ dreams are highly connected to cities. Like no other place, cities display our values, hopes, fears, knowledge and technologies, and are, at the same time, the consequence and the cause of the complex interaction of our socio-cultural, political and economic systems, between themselves, and with the environment. Somehow, cities are one of our best mirrors, or even a magnifying lens portraying our lights and shadows. It has always been like that, and it will probably continue being like that since cities might be in the end the logical consequence of the activity of a social and highly transformative species like humans. Following the text “Sustainable Futures for Hakunila and Sotunki” by Itkonen, Marquez, Seppälä & Sindhuprama as part of their work in Studio 1 of the Master Degree in Urban Studies and Planning, this short text aims to frame some of the topics treated in this interesting text. Firstly, if we assume that cities are the expression of human conditions, societal values and human knowledge, which kind of cities can we envision and pursue at the current time? Secondly, and in order to answer this initial question, we can formulate two sub questions: i) which permanent and conjunctural factors are affecting the transformation of cities nowadays, and ii), how can we integrate all those factors, limitations and expectations in speculative models that could help us to visualize desirable futures for our cities and, hopefully, react accordingly? Lastly, in the pursuit for sustainable cities, what constraints and potentials do nature place on urban greenspace management and planning?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConfused Suburban Identities: A Case Study of Helsinki Region
EditorsAnssi Joutsiniemi, Hannu Linkola, Mia Puttonen, Kristin Swan, Mari Vaattovaara
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherUniversity of Helsinki
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-51-4194-1
ISBN (Print)978-951-51-4193-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018
MoE publication typeB2 Book section

Publication series

NameUSP Studio Publication
ISSN (Print)2489-8007


  • urban studies
  • Urban planning
  • Urban sustainability
  • Landscape planning


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